Respectfully Yours

Wow. It’s been a while and I have learned many things:
1) I should only drop my computer when it’s off.  I gather that can make a life-and-death difference for a hard drive.
2) I should avoid destroying my hard drive during the Christmas season; new drives arrive slowly.
3) Most importantly – I must conduct my life in such a way that I can prevent being so harried and flustered that I knock important things like my computer 3 feet down onto a hard floor.

So, how was your Christmas?

We did Christmas up well this year – in spite of weather and busy schedules all children and grandchildren joined us, I had a great excuse for baking cheesecake, and we inadvertently ended up with a poodle puppy.  Within the confines of my world, blessings abound.

But now the tree is tucked away, the stockings boxed, the nativity scene wrapped and shelved. Routine returns – walking the dog(s), cooking dinner, cleaning, studying, teaching, reading, checking the news. Checking the news – aye, there’s the rub. It’s getting hard to face each day’s events, to watch not only the political horrors unfolding, but to see our culture contorting into an evil, Godless muck.

Godlessness does not end well. I’m thinking Sodom and Gomorrah, Rome, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia – the list is huge, and ugly, and we’re on it.

I’m not a fussy parliamentarian. I don’t care about white dresses at weddings or whether or not alcohol is consumed at the reception. I have no interest at all in what people do in their bedrooms, how much soda they drink, or, anymore, what party they vote for.

I care about respect. Respect is dying a slow and painful death in our culture and it’s just so horrifying to watch that I can barely stand it. Without respect there is no gratitude, without gratitude there is no honor, and without honor there is no shame. We won’t last long without shame.

Shame is evidence of conscience, evidence that our thoughts and behaviors don’t meet the holy standards of God.  God built us with His standards buried deep in our souls so that we might heed the discomfort it causes us, so that we might govern ourselves from within and have no need for tyranny.  We have, however, learned (and I use that word on purpose) to revel in shame, to take pleasure in groveling, in displaying our sins, in gesturing rudely at God.

God does not tolerate disrespect – not out of ego or bad temper, but out of His own respect for Truth. He did, after all, create us, and all the systems that sustain us. Our universe clicks along like a well-organized computer – all the hardware and software in perfect synchrony -- God did that, and did it ex nihilo, by merely commanding it all into existence. “Let there be light!”  (What is the difference between that and the Big Bang?) No scientific discovery has presented a clearer, stronger explanation for our existence; Darwin didn’t even try. In fact, little by little, biology, physics, astronomy, mathematics are all destroying his flimsy little fantasy for what it is – disrespect for God.

From a disregard for God and His creation, we have “progressed” to a disrespect for His law – His moral law, to be sure, but also His economic law – the two are closely aligned. We have, since Cain slew his brother, tried rewriting God’s moral and religious law, and, since the Romans gave away bread and built their circuses, we’ve been attempting to negate His financial law. Now the whole world is tangled up in the arrogant “re-organization” of God’s plan for our prosperity at the same time that we no longer see anything morally wrong with taking what we have not earned – even when we steal it from our grandchildren.

Tell me, how much gratitude do you see amongst those who want our government (i.e. the rest of us) to subsidize their every wish? Amongst those demanding free birth control, free phones, free housing? None. Why is there no gratitude? Because there is no respect. Even our president has no respect for the hard work of the American people and no gratitude for the opportunities offered him by this amazing nation. He speaks disdainfully of the very people who paid for his multimillion dollar Christmas fling.

What honor can there possible be in living it up while his people suffer? No honorable person could stand to get elected by manipulating unions and businesses into laundering money to finance his campaign – and then claim he has a mandate? How can honor be at all involved in saying one thing to get into office and doing an entirely different thing after the election? That’s bad enough – but what about the millions who voted for the man? Is there any honor in doing that? We are stuck with evil in our highest offices because we opened the door and invited him in, and we did that while he twirled his red pointy tail in our faces. He promised us free stuff out of someone else’s pocket, so we marked his name on the ballot. Have we no honor? No shame? Evidently not.

He certainly has no shame. He does not appear at all ashamed of the scores of flagrant lies he has told us. If he were feeling any shame at all for golfing and vacationing on our dime and on our time, he wouldn’t do those things. But he does. And the American people voted him back into office and tolerate a press that fails to hold him accountable.

And the press has no shame. As the fourth estate their job is to ride herd on government, to tell us the truth, but they apparently have no respect for truth. Yet we, the people, buy their newspapers and watch their TV shows – whatever is wrong with us?  We have paid these people to lie to us, to slant the news, to hide the truth from us, to rewrite history – why? Because we have no respect left for ourselves, for our country, for our God. Truth is not in us any longer.
We have become a Godless nation following blithely after the Europe our ancestors so wisely left behind. The first atheist church opens in London this month – coming soon, no doubt to a sanctuary near you.

I’m being grim, I know, but I’m not being entirely hopeless. Jonah turned Nineveh around and America has already been through at least 4 great revivals. Perhaps a return to God and His blueprint for a successful, prosperous nation is in the offing. Perhaps – millions of us still think biblically and Christianity is burgeoning all over the world, so who knows?

But this I am sure of – no election is going to fix anything. No change to more conservative policies will last – not until the heart of our people changes. Perhaps the economic suffering that is surely coming our way will remind America of its origins and principles. Maybe the freedoms we are losing will make us remember the value of liberty and its ultimate source. It’s possible yet, I think, that we can return to a respectful, grateful, honorable society without bloodshed and misery. I pray for that, and I remind myself daily that Jesus Christ controls history.  

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